Dog rescuer charged with ill-treating animal

Video clips of Chiam allegedly abusing a husky went viral in May. Apart from the animal ill-treatment charge, he faces one count of keeping 22 dogs at a place that is not a dog farm without permission.
Video clips of Chiam allegedly abusing a husky went viral in May. Apart from the animal ill-treatment charge, he faces one count of keeping 22 dogs at a place that is not a dog farm without permission.ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

A 41-year-old dog rescuer who allegedly mistreated a Siberian husky at his terraced house was yesterday charged with ill-treating an animal.

Alan Chiam Choon San is accused of kicking the dog's body thrice, punching its head once and lifting it into the air by its collar at about 7.05am on May 23, at Loyang Green in Jalan Loyang Besar in Pasir Ris.

He also faces one count of keeping 22 dogs at a place which is not a dog farm, without the permission of the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA). Chiam told the court he intends to plead guilty and wants to engage a lawyer to help mitigate his sentence. The case will be mentioned again on Dec 28.

Chiam was flamed online after two video clips of him allegedly mistreating a husky went viral on the morning of May 23. By that evening, one video had garnered more than 400,000 views, while the other got more than 225,000 views.

He posted an apology on his Facebook profile page that afternoon.

In a statement yesterday, the AVA said the dog was taken to a vet for a medical examination and is currently being cared for by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

The maximum punishment for ill-treating an animal, for a first conviction, is a fine of up to $15,000 and up to 18 months' jail; and for keeping more than three dogs in a place that is not a dog farm without AVA permission, a fine of up to $5,000.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 24, 2016, with the headline 'Dog rescuer charged with ill-treating animal'. Print Edition | Subscribe